Boothroyd says England U21 stars must be role models

‘They have enormous influence… it’s important they become role models’: England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd says Young Lions are constantly reminded about their responsibilities

  • England U21 boss Boothroyd knows his squad must hold high standards
  • Gareth Southgate has had his preparations hit by coronavirus breaches
  • Abraham, Chilwell and Sancho breached protocols by attending a party

England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd admits his Young Lions are constantly reminded about their responsibilities.

The manager knows his squad must hold high standards after coronavirus breaches by senior players.

Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden have been left out of the Three Lions squad by Gareth Southgate after being axed when they broke Covid-19 protocols following last month’s 1-0 win in Iceland.

England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd (above) knows his squad must hold high standards

The pair were sent home from the England camp, missing the 0-0 draw in Denmark and have not returned for games against Wales, Belgium and Denmark.

Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho’s arrival for international duty has also been delayed following reports the three players attended a party with more than six people for Abraham’s birthday, in breach of coronavirus regulations.

England Under-21s face a Euro 2021 qualifier in Andorra on Wednesday and Boothroyd believes his squad understand they are constantly in the spotlight.

England boss Gareth Southgate has had his preparations hit by coronavirus breaches

He said: ‘We’re regularly talking to the players about it. They are not just good players, it’s important they become role models and know they have responsibilities. We’re forever talking about that because it’s important.

‘We’ve all been young and got things wrong, it’s part of growing up and part of becoming a well-rounded individual.

‘In my role it’s important I make the guys aware of the younger people watching and the enormous influence they have on them.

‘As kids, you want to be England internationals and they look up to these players. We make it very clear what it means to represent your country and wear the Three Lions.’

Boothroyd had worked with Abraham and Chilwell with the Young Lions, with Sancho bypassing the Under-21 squad, but holds them all in high regard.

Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho breached protocols by attending a party 

He said: ‘It was out of character, looking from afar, young people get things wrong. We’re finding that out. All have apologised and Gareth has dealt with it in his normal swift way and that’s the end of it and we move on.

‘Without reading the riot act, we live in times where everyone wants to share and let everyone know what they’re doing (on social media). I don’t understand it, maybe that’s the era I’m from. I prefer to keep things private.

‘Sometimes the young players do things because they’re young and make mistakes. It’s all part of growing up.

‘There’s a punishment attached to it and we move on.’

Boothroyd has a fully fit squad ahead of Wednesday’s game at the Estadi Nacional d’Andorra with England top of Group Three needing four points from their final four games to reach Euro 2021.

Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden were both left out of the squad for this month’s games




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